Self-care involves giving yourself some quality me-time, putting your feet up, and sitting back to relax. Hence people resort to spas, masseuses, and a variety of techniques for self-care. Generally, it means caring for all parts of the body, including the ears!
Many spas even have ear candling as part of their spa routine. The technique is used to painlessly extract the accumulated ear wax out from the ear canal.
If you haven’t heard about this world-famous technique as yet, here’s a little background on it and how it really works.
The Ear Candling Technique
Ear candling or coning is a short procedure – takes only 30 to 45 minutes – to remove all the accumulated wax from the ear. The process is generally painless and noninvasive. In addition, it doesn’t require any tools or vacuuming like we typically get at the audiologists’ clinic.
But in fact, all it requires is a candle to get the procedure done.
One end of the candle, i.e., the tapered end, is inserted into the ear canal (don’t freak out, it’s not the part we’ll light up!).
Then the expert uses a special piece of paper to cover the top end of the candle carefully. It is adjusted to cover for any wax droppings. Once it is all set in place, the other end of the candle is set ablaze.
You are required to lie on one side and wait for like fifteen minutes for the candle to work its magic. The warmth helps soften the wax, so it gently flows out of the ear or can easily be removed with a Q-tip.
The spa professional then gently takes out the candle, and the same process is repeated for the other ear.
Since it looks like a simple procedure, many people are tempted to try this at home. But there are a lot of technicalities involved here.
For starters, the candles used for the process are unique; you cannot just insert any candle you find lying around in your ear. Ear coning candles are hollow and tapered towards one end. They are also longer than the conventional dinner candles we have, i.e., 10 inches, to be exact.
Plus, these candles’ manufacturing process is way different from the other types. They are typically made using fabric and wax or sometimes beeswax and paraffin. So, no, contrary to customary beliefs, you simply cannot keep these candles for the cakes and anniversaries!
Secondly, the process should only be done by a professional. Since it involves burning the candle, the experts can handle the melted wax and avoid any undesired accidents in the process.
Benefits of Ear Candling
Now there are several benefits of ear candling. While the major advantage, ofcourse, is wax removal, people often find the technique helpful in restoring their hearing and relaxing the ear.
Although none of these benefits hold scientific proof, the procedure is still relaxing nonetheless, and hence, the technique is used worldwide by various spas and care clinics.
Let’s take a look at a few major benefits of ear candling here:
Relieves Ear Pressure
Our ears often feel heavy, and it gets hard to hear properly. Usually, the pressure is built due to the excessive and dried wax inside the ear canal. The pressure goes all the way to the eardrum. Since candling typically gets the ear wax to melt, it takes off some of the pressure from the drum.
Helps Boost Concentration Span
When the load is lifted from the ears, you’ll observe you hear sounds better. That way, you can make out conversations from the noisy surroundings. Thus, you will be better able to focus on what you need to.
Many people also found that their other senses of taste, smell, and vision improved once the hearing felt better.
Helps with Earache
Again since it removes the wax, ear candling helps reduce earache. Many people observed it also helped minimize head and earache, and also, the sinus pressure decreased after an ear candling session.
No denying the fact that the process is somewhat therapeutic. The soothing scents and warmth relax the brain and body; it is no wonder that it is part of self-care!
Another proposed benefit of the ear candling technique is that it helps heal sinus infections and clears out the nerve endings. Also, some people cite its benefits in treating common colds and migraines.
Ear candling technique has also been linked to helping manage vertigo better. Since dizziness has to do with body balance and the ear itself, this is quite a plausible fact that removal of ear wax can definitely affect the cochlea.
More acclaimed benefits of the technique include (but again, have no scientific evidence)
- A cure to different types of cancers
- Purifies blood and improves circulation
- Reduces pain all over the face
- Improves vision
- It helps ease tension and distressed the mind
Is Ear Candling Safe?
Since no studies or evidence prove the effectiveness of this technique, it is generally assumed to be an unsafe practice. However, if we look in-depth at the whole procedure, these are some of the potential risks associated with it:
- Wax burns
- Eardrum blockade and puncturing
- Fire hazard
- Ear damage
- Temporary hearing loss
However, these are just the broad range of risks associated with ear candling, which can easily be avoided if you get an expert to do the job. It is strictly not a DIY thing.
You can, however, look for alternative solutions like putting in a few drops of hydrogen peroxide down the ear canal to soften the wax.
But no matter what, avoid inserting pliers, tweezers, or literally anything inside the canal to take the wax out, and that includes the earbuds too!
Ear candling is increasingly gaining popularity due to its ease and pain-free procedure. However, it cannot be emphasized enough that you should always look for experts to do it for you.
The process is quite delicate, and since it concerns lighting up the candle, any mishandling can result in severe burns.